Pittsburgh Class A cluster in pricy FCC settlement


GavelWBGN-CD Pittsburgh is the in-town outlet of a ten-station Pittsburgh-centered group of Class A television stations owned by Bruno Goodworth Network that were rung up by the FCC for children’s program reporting and unauthorized silence violations. The matters have been settled via consent decree, and the US Treasury is the richer for it.

The stations failed to timely file necessary reports for some of the stations; further, the FCC said that many applied to go silent, and went silent, despite the fact that the applications were never granted.

Implicated in one way or another are WBGN-CD, Pittsburgh, PA; WNNB-CD, Beaver, PA; WPCP-CD, New Castle, PA; WJMB-CD, Butler, PA;  WEMW-CD, Greensburg, PA; WJPW-CD Weirton WV; WKHU-CD, Kittaning, PA; WMVH-CA, Charleroi, PA; WWKH-CA, Uniontown, PA; and WWLM-CA, Washington, PA.

In addition to Pittsburgh, some of the stations serve portions of the Youngstown OH and Wheeling WV-Steubenville OH DMAs.

The FCC has served numerous Class A stations with notification of apparent liability of children’s television rules, and those that failed to respond were often busted down to LPTV status, taking away certain regulatory protections and eliminating the possibility of being a participant in the upcoming incentive auctions.

What makes this action interesting is a pending deal selling the all of these stations plus WVTX-CD Bridgeport OH to William Tolpegin ‘s OTA Broadcasting LLC for $7.25M in a deal accepted by the FCC for filing 5/20/13.

In this case, both sides have agreed to drop the matter. Perhaps taking the pending deal into account, the consent decree does not include the usual provision for a compliance plan along with reporting conditions.

What it does include is a voluntary contribution to the US Treasury on the part of Bruno Goodworth to the tune of $75K.